As the new year kicks off, it’s important to learn what influencer marketing trends you should watch out for in 2023.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways brands can promote their products and services. And as the new year kicks off, it’s important to learn what influencer marketing trends you should watch out for in 2023.
And while no one can exactly predict with certainty how the influencer landscape will look like, the trends and data in this article will give brands and influencers insight into the future of influencer marketing. And as competition increases in the space, this knowledge will help you get ahead of the curve and competitors.
Let’s get started.
Both influencer and affiliate marketing have helped ecommerce businesses and direct-to-consumer brands generate millions in conversions and sales. And while both marketing strategies involve a content creator earning compensation on promotions or sales, what we have seen over the years is that brands usually run influencer and affiliate marketing campaigns independently of each other.
Well, that is no longer the case.
More brands are starting to realize that influencers can make effective affiliates. In the past, most affiliates were publishers and bloggers who shared reviews and product recommendations on their sites. These affiliates also usually promote multiple products (even the ones they haven’t used) in a single post that generates little to no conversions.
Influencers on the other hand are more intentional about the products they promote. Why? Trust plays a huge role in how successful an influencer is. Most influencers will not recommend a product or service unless they have used it. This means that their audience will more readily purchase what they recommend. In fact, 8 out of 10 consumers will purchase something after an influencer recommends it.
With this high level of conversions, brands have realized that working with influencers as affiliates can help them get more sales without having to spend a lot. So if the objective of a campaign is to drive sales strictly, it will make more financial sense to give influencers affiliate deals where they earn commission on sales. Instead of paying an inflated flat rate fee for a sales campaign that may or may not be successful.
Flat rate fees will be more suitable for a campaign objective like increasing brand awareness.
Influencers will also work harder to show the value of your product or service to their audience. Why? The size of their commission depends on how many sales they make.
Influencers will continue to specialize in their industries and carve out niches for themselves in 2023. And this is because brands prefer to work with influencers that are known for a specific thing. If every influencer talked about the same things and promoted the same products, they would have very little influence as there would be nothing unique about them.
For example, if an influencer that posts about any topic starts advertising a sports hydration drink to his or her audience, there might be little to no sales traction. But if a fitness influencer promotes a sports drink, there will likely be more sales as the product is a natural fit for their brand and audience.
So brands will more readily work with the specialized fitness influencer than the generalized one.
We will also see influencers getting even more specialized and niched. Why? Since the Pandemic, more people are trying their hand at being online creatives and influencers. And as social media gets more saturated with content, people who want to be successful on social media need to be more creative in order to stand out.
The result is influencers carving out unique niches for themselves where there is less competition. For example, Rebecca is a micro-influencer who shares gluten-free, allergy-free, and vegan recipes on Instagram.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is one of the most used social media platforms in the world. And since its inception, influencers have always been huge on the platform. Brands have long been partnering with influencers to promote their business on TikTok. And this trend isn’t about to end anytime soon.
Reports from analysts at Insider Intelligence indicate that TikTok could overtake Facebook in influencer marketing spend by 2024. B2BHouse also estimated that the total influencer marketing spend added up to $800 million in 2022 and predicts that it will exceed $1.3 billion in 2024.
These numbers will make TikTok the number 2 platform in terms of influencer marketing spend. But while Instagram still has more influencer marketing dollars, more brands are looking to work with creators and influencers on TikTok where the audience is younger and the market isn’t yet as competitive.
Also with the platform’s introduction of features like the Creator Marketplace and Creative Exchange, we can expect to see more collaboration between brands and TikTok influencers.
Social media audiences just love videos. So much so that they are spending hundreds of hours watching videos on social media. In fact, Insider Intelligence reports that 17% of people consistently check out short-form videos on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. The average person also spends 100 minutes watching videos online.
It is also not only social media audiences that cannot get enough of video content. Brands and marketers also see videos as an effective way to increase audience engagement and lead generation. A Wyzowl survey showed that 82% of businesses use video as a marketing tool while 92% of marketers say it’s an integral part of their marketing strategy.
And as the audience, brands, and marketers demand for more video content, we will see creators and influencers posting more of it in 2023.
In countries like China, live shopping is already very popular. And in the British, North American, and EU markets, live shopping is also becoming more common. To the extent that some social media platforms now have livestream shopping and partnership tools.
For example, Instagram rolled out Live Shopping in 2020, enabling users to sell to their audience via Instagram Live. Customers can buy products advertised during a live broadcast in real time.
There are also stats to support how fast a global trend live shopping is becoming.
According to McKinsey & Company, live shopping sales will account for 20 percent of all e-commerce by 2026. Coresight also predicts that the live streaming market in the United States will reach $25 billion by 2023.
With these numbers, we can expect to see more brands investing in influencer-backed live shopping events.
Subscription-based content allows influencers and creators to charge their audience a fee in exchange for exclusive content. Whether it is done directly on a social media platform or via a separate subscription platform like Patreon, subscriptions allow creators to form a deeper connection with their biggest fans while earning extra income.
And with the launch of Instagram subscription and its subscriptions feature that allows creators to earn recurring income by offering exclusive content to their followers, more influencers will be interested in creating subscription communities.
According to Insider Intelligence, “consumers want to invest in companies that invest in DEI initiatives and are transparent about their success or failure.”
What this means is that consumers want to see initiatives from their favorite brands that support inclusiveness. And these inclusivity will apply to race, gender, disabilities, and sexual orientation.
The value of diversity in marketing campaigns including influencer marketing cannot be overstated. In fact, a 2022 study showed that 33% of Facebook users say that they will buy more products and services after seeing content posted by a creator with a diverse background.
The Facebook report says this, “In many instances, these social communities feel a sense of belonging with the creators who celebrate their shared identities, not only through their content but with the brands they choose to partner with and promote,…”
As brands aim to enhance the social shopping experience for their customers of diverse backgrounds, we can expect to see an increased emphasis on brands partnering with influencers who can authentically connect and speak to these audiences.
A study by TapInfluence and Altimeter showed that two-thirds of marketers struggle to find the right influencer for their brand. And to achieve any success with influencer marketing, you need to work with influencers that have interests, audience, and values that match your company. That is why in 2023, long term relationships between influencers and brands will be the norm.
So instead of one-off partnerships, we will see more brands giving long-term contracts to their ideal influencers. More influencers will turn into brand ambassadors instead of just people with a large following promoting a product for commissions.
This does not mean that one-off partnerships will cease to exist. Partnering with multiple influencers over a short period of time still has its advantages. For example, you can use it if you want to accelerate awareness for a product or when you are looking to reach a wider audience.
In 2021 and 2022, Influencer or content houses became a trend. Creators and influencers live together in a space for a period of time to collaborate and create content. And this isn’t a recent trend either. In 2015, stars on the now defunct Vine app moved into their own creator house at 1600 Vine Street.
The purpose of these content houses is so the influencers can collaborate with each other while expanding their audience by playing off each other's popularity. Since collaboration between influencers is beneficial to the parties involved, this trend will be sure to continue in 2023.
Influencers can range from nano-influencers with a few thousand followers to celebrities that have millions of followers. But while celebrities have a lot of followers, studies have shown that audiences connect better with micro and nano-influencers. Micro-influencers are also proven to have higher engagement rates than mega-influencers across multiple social media channels.
For example, micro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 3.86% on Instagram and 1.21% for mega-influencers. Hype auditor even reports that nano-influencers with 1000 to 5000 followers have a higher engagement rate of 5%.
An influencer marketing benchmark report by Influencer Marketing Hub also stated that even though the social media engagement rate dropped in 2021 for Instagram accounts with a large following, this was not the case for smaller accounts with fewer followers. Micro and nano-influencers continue to see more engagement.
In addition to engagement, smaller influencers also have higher conversion rates. This is because smaller influencers have a close knit relationship with their audience. Their followers see them as more authentic/trustworthy and will more readily purchase from them. This is one of the reasons why micro-influencers have 22+ times more sales conversions than bigger influencers.
Influencer marketing is an effective way for brands and marketers to get in front of their target audience. When done right, working with influencers can help your brand build social proof and drive sales. But to see a positive return on your investment, you need to understand what is trending in the space and the best practices to help you achieve success.
The influencer marketing trends in this article will help you guide you in 2023.
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